Search URJ.org and the other Reform websites:

Stories We Tell: Finding God on the Mountain

Stories We Tell: Finding God on the Mountain

By: 
Rabbi Phyllis Sommer

Judaism has a deep and rich tradition of storytelling, of passing down stories from one generation to the next. To carry on that tradition, Stories We Tell, from ReformJudaism.org, will share a new story with you every Thursday. Whether you listen while driving to work, preparing Shabbat dinner, or taking your kids to school, each episode will give you a new story to reflect on and discuss with the people in your life. Stories We Tell is a project of the Union for Reform Judaism, a leading voice in the discussion of modern Jewish life.

A man was told that he could find God at the top of the highest mountain, so he climbed to the peak and waited patiently for God to show up. Join Rabbi Phyllis Sommer as she tells this story about what it truly means to find God in ways we might have never even considered.

Three ways to listen:

Transcript:

[URJ Intro] Welcome back to Stories We Tell, a podcast from ReformJudaism.org. Judaism has always had a deep and rich tradition of storytelling, passing our stories down from one generation to the next. And here each Thursday, we share a new story with you. This week, Rabbi Phyllis Sommer, the Director of Congregational Learning at Am Shalom in Glencoe, Illinois shares the story of "Finding God on the Mountain."

[Rabbi Phyllis Sommer] Once there was a man who wanted to find God. And he was told that if he climbed to the top of the tallest mountain, he would find God. So the man climbed up the mountain.

And when he got to the top of the mountain, he sat down and waited. And then as the day went on, as the sun does, it began to set. And the sunset from the top of that mountain was truly spectacular. Blues and reds and purples, orange streaked with yellow-- it was so gorgeous. And the man found himself watching the sunset.

And then he said out loud, oh my goodness. Sunset, stop! You're distracting me. I'm trying to find God. And he closed his eyes. Well, as the sunset does, it ceased. And the sky turned dark. And the man continued to sit.

And as he lay on his back on the top of the mountain, the sky filled with stars. And he found himself watching the stars. Oh my goodness! From the top of the mountain, they were bright and beautiful. And then suddenly he realized, stars, you are distracting me. I'm trying to find God. And so he closed his eyes and waited until morning.

When he woke up in the morning, all around him were a flock of birds. And they were twittering and tweeting and making a loud cacophony of sound. And some of them flew around and some flew overhead, and it was beautiful.

And then he said, stop. Stop distracting me, birds. I'm trying to find God. And he waved his arms and scared the birds away.

He continued to sit all through the day. And eventually, a whole lot of people came to the top of the mountain. They were his family and friends. They had been worried about him, and they were looking for him. They all came up to the mountain and a large group. And he turned around and saw them all coming up the mountain.

And he looked at his family and friends and he said to them, go away. You're distracting me. I'm trying to find God. His family and friends left. He sat on the mountain all the rest of that day.

And at the end of the day, he hung his head, disappointed. I haven't found God, he said. He went back down the mountain and he went back to his life. He hadn't found God.

Or so he thought. And as the rest of his days went by, he thought about all the things he had seen and heard on the mountain and he realized, maybe, just maybe, he had found God after all.

[URJ Outro] After hearing the story "Finding God on the Mountain," I guess I'm wondering whether there have ever been times in your life when something has been right in front of your face but it took you a little while to see it. If you want to share that with us, we'd love to hear about it on social media. You can find us at Facebook.com/ReformJudaism. And on Twitter, our handle is @ReformJudaism. And thanks for listening to Stories We Tell. If you enjoyed this week's story, please subscribe and rate and review us on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can always find new episodes every Thursday on ReformJudaism.org.

And don't forget to visit ReformJudaism.org to learn a little bit more about Jewish rituals or culture or holidays, and more. Stories We Tell is a project of the Union for Reform Judaism, a leading voice in the discussion of modern Jewish life.

And until next week, l'hitroat!

Rabbi Phyllis Sommer is the director of congregational learning at Am Shalom in Glencoe, IL, who blogs at Ima On and Off the Bima. When her son Sam was diagnosed with cancer at age 6, she also began blogging at Superman Sam.

Topic: 
Related: